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DescriptionMissoula lies astride the Clark Fork River, a tributary of the Columbia River named for William Clark. The town also occupies a valley that was once part of Glacial Lake Missoula, a prehistoric lake.
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One of the first lumber mills in the region began in Missoula. Lumber remains not only a major industry but also a major concern. The U.S. Forest Service maintains in Missoula its Region No. 1 headquarters, a research station devoted to forest fire research and the smokejumpers' training center. The University of Montana supports these studies with a 22,000-acre experimental forest in addition to conservation and wildlife research stations.
A short drive in any direction will lead into a national forest or a wilderness area. The Rattlesnake National Recreation Area and Wilderness, 6 miles north of downtown, has many small lakes, streams and trails.
A Carousel for Missoula near Caras Park is a hand-carved 1918 merry-go-round created by volunteers. Rides are offered year-round; phone (406) 549-8382.
The International Wildlife Film Festival provides an opportunity for wildlife and conservation filmmakers, broadcasters, scientists, educators and students to network and share ideas relating to projects. The 8-day event takes place in spring.
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Visitor InfoMissoula Convention & Visitors Bureau 101 E. Main St. MISSOULA, MT 59802. Phone:(406)532-3250 or (800)526-3465
ShoppingSouthgate Mall, US 93 and South Avenue, counts Dillard's, Herberger's and JCPenney among its 105 stores. The restored historic downtown, with a lighted riverfront nearby, also offers distinctive shopping opportunities. Montana Antique Mall, 331 W. Railroad St., has four floors of dealers in the red-bricked Hotel Montana building, which was built in 1890.
Self-guiding toursBrochures outlining walking tours of public art and historical buildings in the downtown district are available from the convention and visitors bureau.
Things to SeeGarnet Ghost Town
White-water Rafting10,000 Waves Raft and Kayak Adventures